Julio Mercado, 37, has been accused of running a
Palm Beach investment scam through his Lexington Financial Group. The investigation began after National
City Bank reported suspicious activity in an account. According to the
allegations, Mercado's company mimicked a legitimate investment advisory
firm by using a similar name. Mercado allegedly used a fake Wellington
address on correspondence with investors and additionally used telemarketers
who gave fake names.
According to the accusations, Mercado brought investors in with promises
of returns on both stocks and precious metals. The scam affected people
in the US and in Britain. At least eight investors are said to have lost
at least $304,000 in the Palm Beach investment scam. Even after the suspicious
account activity was reported, National City Bank continued to allow Mercado
to withdraw money.
Mercado has been charged with fraud, money laundering, and grand larceny.
investment fraud lawyers with Meyer Wilson want to remind investors that
Ponzi schemes and investment fraud happen all the time, and that it pays to be wary
of any investment that sounds too good to be true...it probably is.